Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Living Out Loud
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, as an artist, will answer, I am here to live out loud.”
-French novelist Emile Zola
Isn’t that what we are doing, here in the blogosphere? Those of us who write are “living out loud”, and those of us who respond are adding our voices. It’s a connection that reminds us of the oneness of our spirit. I could choose to write about other parts of my life, but I’ve discovered that my horses are my one constant in each day. Interacting with them always seems to offer me something new.
Today, I want to share something I learned from my horses’ blankets. As I was removing Silk’s blanket this morning, I realized that she’s been wearing the same one for over ten years. The first winter that I bought it, some chickens at the stable thought it must taste good and torn the inside lining. There was a man who came once a week, and for five dollars apiece, washed the horse clothing for the barn. He asked me if I wanted him to repair it for ten bucks, and I said, “You bet.” It’s the only thing that’s ever gone wrong, through countless washings and over a decade of use.
When Siete stopped growing, I bought her a similar blanket from “Classic Cover-ups” in navy blue. Silk’s is hunter green, so I can tell them apart. They are expensive, but strong as iron. Silk’s cost me $240, so it comes out to $24 a year so far. Best of all, they are made of a material like Gortex called “SympaTex”. It breathes even though it’s totally waterproof. Last time it snowed, Siete had an inch of wet white stuff on her back, but the inside of the blanket and her fur coat were completely dry. They fit Quarter Horses beautifully, with a short drop, but there are also longer, high necked, “Euro Cut” styles.
I decided that I wanted to recommend these amazing blankets on my blog. I went to the website of Classic Cover-ups” (www.classiccover-ups.com). I learned that the owner, Lynn Bishop, was a horsewoman who had worked for the company that made Gortex. Twenty-two years ago, she and her husband, Ian, began making the best horse blankets they could make. They are entirely manufactured in the USA in Oxford, Pa.
So, here’s the bad news. They are going out of business in the next two months. The competition sells such cheap knock-offs with overseas manufacturing that the Bishops are closing up shop. If you want one, now is the time. As I read all the panicked news about our economic recession, I believe it’s because of so many bad decisions and choices. In our country, people are more attracted to “cheap” than they are to “made with care”. When will we learn that caring always counts the most?